Are You the Caregiver? Tips for Caring for Yourself, too!

Caring for aging loved ones was never an easy prospect. However, up until now, caregiver stress was not such an issue. Families lived in multi-generational households and together they shared the burden of a sick or elderly loved one.

senior woman and caring daughter walking in forest

Today, families are scattered and the responsibility for care falls on the spouse to shoulder almost alone. There’s so much to consider on a daily basis, and it’s easy for their needs to get lost in the mix. The spouse usually has their own physical problems of decreased mobility, strength and pain discomfort often followed by depression. It’s clear that these caregivers need help, but is the help that is available enough to relieve the stress?

How can you ensure their needs are met while they’re working so hard to care for someone else? A recent Time Magazine blog post had several helpful tips that may prove useful if you’re in that situation.

  • Support Groups are Helpful: Often just speaking to others who are in the same situation you are day after day is a good way to connect, relax, and recharge. Local hospitals and churches sometimes offer caregiver support groups. Even the local rec center may have support programs for caregivers.
  • Look Online: Sometimes when you can’t connect in person, you may be able to connect online in a forum or via social media groups on channels like Facebook. Make certain, though, that you utilize caregiver focused groups, as those that include patients and family may have you worried you’ll step on someone else’s feelings.
  • Write: If you’re journaling, you may be able to relieve some stress. There are several different ways to handle this. Some use a gratitude journal where they record things for which they’re grateful. Others simply use a journaling space where they can vent. No matter how you use it, you’re certain to find some solace in simply recording your thoughts.
  • Get Technical: There are several apps that may help you stay organized, which can alleviate the stress of your situation. Ask others about the apps they use or do some searching to figure how what can help you keep track of those appointments and medications.

Caregiver stress can be incredible at times, but there are ways to deal with it. Read the full Time Magazine article when you have a moment, and don’t forget to enlist the help of professional caregivers, like those at the David York Agency.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  Contact us at 718.376.7755 and visit our website. You can also like us on on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Recognizing the Signs of Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease

It is important to recognize the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as early as possible. It affords family members plenty of time for planning, ensures that a safe living arrangement is set in place and enables the elderly to take advantage of all current and cutting edge treatments available. Unfortunately, both the elderly and their loved ones are ignorant of the signs and can be in a state of denial.

It’s easy to try to deny signs of dementia in oneself and a loved one. It is terrifying for the former and painful for the latter. Often denials sound like this:

  1. Getting confused is just part of getting older.
  2. The irrationality is just part of a mid-life crisis.
  3. Stress and sleep deprivation is causing the forgetfulness.
  4. Everyone forgets things.
  5. Depression is causing the lack of focus.

Then again, you could be experiencing early signs of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource and has compiled the following list:

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

If you have a suspicion that the forgetfulness is something more serious, it is time to go see a doctor. The best to find out if any of these signs and symptoms is indicative of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is to get a complete medical evaluation.

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is naturally extremely stressful to all concerned. Anticipating and planning for the eventual outcome of the disease is not easy, but David York Home Healthcare Agency can help. When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly and infirm in their home. A nurse is always standing by and would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.